The latest Bluetooth speaker from Fluance is big, bold, and a little strange

As Bluetooth speakers become more capable and better sounding, how we use them is beginning to change as well. While they were once just an option for hearing something louder, and quality be damned, they’re starting to become the default option for a lot of people, particularly those who don’t want to worry about setting up a home stereo.

Fluance has exactly that type of customer in mind with its latest Bluetooth speaker, the Fi70. As a follow-up to its Fi30 and Fi50 — neither of which were particularly small to begin with — this still comes as a surprise, standing 36 inches tall when used with the included stand. From the sheer size to the hole in the middle of the speaker, the Fi70 doesn’t deal in subtleties, and we haven’t even gotten to its guts yet.

Unlike most Bluetooth speakers, which offer a handful of smaller drivers, the Fi70 is packing a serious wallop. The speaker features dual 8-inch woofers, which Fluance says is a world first, along with 5-inch woven glass fiber midrange drivers and 1-inch neodymium tweeters. Powering it all is a 280-watt amplifier, offering bass frequencies down to 30Hz, much lower than you’ll find in most standalone units.

The company’s goal is to replace not only other Bluetooth speakers but also sound bars and even complete home stereo systems, and as a result, the Fi70 boasts a wide range of features. In addition to the standard Bluetooth connectivity with aptX, the speaker features an optical input for use with TVs, an auxiliary input for use with other devices, and even a built-in AM/FM radio.

Other features of the Fi70 include touch controls and a USB port to power mobile devices. One thing the speaker doesn’t offer is portability: at 81 pounds, you’re not going to want to move it very often. You’re not meant to, either. Fluance calls this a “statement piece,” and we’ve got to admit we’ve never seen anything exactly like it.

If you want to put this in your living room, the Fluance Fi70 is available now in Black Ash, Lucky Bamboo, and Natural Walnut varieties, all of which sell for $500. For more information, see the company’s website.

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